General (non-enduring) power of attorney

A general (non-enduring) power of attorney is a document that you (the “principal”) use to authorise another person (your “attorney”) to make decisions about your financial and legal affairs.

The form to appoint a general power of attorney is in schedule 1 of the POA Act.

How long this authority lasts and what it covers depends on what is included in the document that grants the authority. Unless the document specifies a date on which the authority ends, it lasts until you choose to withdraw it, or your attorney chooses to resign. Either should be done in writing. The authority is automatically terminated when you die, become bankrupt, or you lose the capacity to make reasonable decisions.

For the document to be valid, you must be over 18 years old and be able to understand:

the nature of what you are signing;

the powers granted to your attorney; and

what powers you retain.